In The Shallows it says that knowing lots of stuff is thinking. Because you know a bunch of stuff you have lots of neurons to make connections with. You can pull on your wealth of information and combine disparate facts to come up with new theories.

By letting ‘the web’ hold so much of our knowledge we’re handicapping our ability to combine this seemingly unrelated information.

This makes me think of ‘somec’ in The Worthing Saga and how all the great minds slept so much that they couldn’t really achieve anything. Some kid that wasn’t asleep could jump math forward simply because he was awake and had some motivation to figure the problem out in the form of a test that was a test for his life.